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Car rental firms commit to improvements following Europe-wide review

The project has been facilitated by the European Commission along with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and member state consumer protection authorities.

The companies – Hertz, Avis Budget, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Europcar and Sixt – have agreed to introduce the following improvements over the next six months:

  • Improved transparency when making a website booking or reservation: consumers will now have more of the key information they need to shop around for the best deal for them.
  • Better information at the booking stage about optional waiver and insurance products.
  • More upfront information about pre- and post-rental vehicle inspection processes.
  • Improved notification of, and dispute processes for, any charges for damage.

In the UK, the CMA has worked closely with the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) on a revised UK Code of Conduct, which will be launched at the beginning of 2016.

Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA, said: “The BVRLA and its members are committed to providing the highest levels of customer service and transparency. This report represents the next step forward in further improving the car rental experience across Europe and we trust that its recommendations will be adopted by the wider industry. “Customers have a right to clear and transparent information about their rental, and we believe that our mandatory Code of Conduct, governance regime and free, no-obligation conciliation service will provide added peace of mind to people hiring from a company displaying the BVRLA logo. “After working with us for more than 18 months, the CMA believes that our members have 'set a benchmark for the rest of the industry to follow'.”

In Europe, the CMA, European Commission and enforcement authorities in other EU member states have worked with Leaseurope, the umbrella body for the European car rental trade associations, which has already updated its Code of Conduct, with further guidance due to be published in the next few months.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.